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The Camden Cad
Aug 24, 2004
North London
Welcome, my very dear friends, to a very special presentation. It's that time of year again, you see. A chance to sift through the wreckage of twelve months of English football, to reward the noble and to eviscerate the terrible. Bigger than the Ballon D'or, more prestigious than the PFA, these are the fourth annual Slipperduke Awards.

Funniest Appointment of the Year

When your football club is in freefall, relegation is a real danger and you've already been through three managers in one season, who do you turn to to save the day? An experienced old hand? Not if you're Mike Ashley, you don't. Not when you can hire a completely inexperienced TV pundit on the basis that he scored a lot of goals when he was a player. Astonishingly, poor Alan Shearer was unable to save Newcastle. Who would have thought it, eh?

Most Predictable Demise of the Year

Mark Hughes didn't stand a chance. Not when his club was bought out by a know-nothing billionaire. Not when the horrendous Garry Cook, a man who once argued for a 14 team Premier League with no relegation, was installed above him. Not when players like Robinho were signed for him. Given time and autonomy, Hughes could have delivered success to Manchester City. Unfortunately for him, one too many Cooks spoiled the broth.

The Most Sporting Act of the Year

Steven Gerrard wouldn't do it, Wayne Rooney wouldn't do it and Cristiano Ronaldo would laugh uproariously at the mere suggestion, but Andrey Arshavin struck a blow for honour in May when he tried to convince referee Lee Mason not to award Arsenal a penalty. No amount of finger-wagging and pleading would convince Mason to reverse his decision, but it was nice to see at least one footballer who refuses to cheat his opponents.

The Best Celebration

Is there anyone in the world who doesn't want to be Jimmy Bullard's mate? The madcap Hull midfielder is the funniest man in football and he proved it again with his inspired post-goal lampooning of Phil Brown's infamous public tantrum. Bullard is a breath of fresh air in a game increasing obsessed with money. What a shame that he has such awful luck with injuries. Get well soon, Jimmy.

The Most Ridiculous Refereeing Decision

With just seconds left to play of Manchester United's spirited clash with Arsenal, was there really any need for Mike Dean to send Arsene Wenger to the stands? Dispatching the Frenchman to a packed section of United fans was sheer lunacy and could have ended in disaster. What did Dean expect them to do, share their mints with him? This must have been the only time that Wenger has been glad to have been losing at Old Trafford.

Harbinger of Doom

Ok, whose bright idea was this? Putting an England game on the internet and making it pay-per-view was not a shimmering vision of the future, it was flickery, overpriced rubbish that I couldn't watch in the pub with my mates. It was the mean-spirited hoarding of something that should have been easily available to everyone. It was the brainless destruction of the social glue that holds football together. In short, I did not approve.

Funniest Chants of the Year

'You Should Have Stayed On The Telly' - Liverpool fans tell Alan Shearer what he already knows.

'When you're sat in row Z, and the ball hits your head, that's Zamora!' - Fulham fans lose patience with their star striker

'You're Supposed To Be In Jail' - Tottenham's supporters remind Steven Gerrard of what might have been.